High cholesterol levels are linked to increased risk of heart disease but the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration has been inconsistent, said US researchers at the Boston University School. But their strong new findings suggest that fruit and vegetables have a positive impact on LDL.
The researchers used data collected from 4466 people ?average age in their mid-50s ?participating in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study to examine the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and serum LDL. They used a food frequency questionnaire to assess fruit and vegetable intakes and regression models to estimate adjusted mean LDL according to fruit and vegetable consumption.
The average daily serving of fruit and vegetables was between three and five servings for men and just over five for women.
In the categories 0?.9, 2.0?.9, 3.0?.9, and 4 servings/d, multivariate-adjusted mean (95% CI) LDL concentrations were 3.36 (3.28, 3.44), 3.35 (3.27, 3.43), 3.26 (3.17, 3.35), and 3.17 (3.09, 3.25) mmol/L, respectively, for men (P for trend < 0.0001) and 3.35 (3.26, 3.44), 3.22 (3.14, 3.30), 3.21 (3.13, 3.29), and 3.11 (3.04, 3.18), respectively, for women (P for trend < 0.0001).
'This association was observed across categories of age, education, smoking status and physical activity,?/i> said the researchers.
Adding that the exclusion of people with 'prevalent diabetes mellitus?or coronary artery disease did not alter these results significantly.
'Consumption of fruit and vegetables is inversely related to LDL in men and women,?/i> they concluded.
Full findingsfor the paper, 'Fruit and vegetable consumption and LDL cholesterol: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study,' by L. Djouss? D. K. Arnett, H. Coon, M. A. Province, L. L. Moore and R. C. Ellison are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004) 79:213-217.
Yesterday FoodNavigator.com reported on a further study that revealed the role fruit and vegetable consumption could play in preventing rectal cancer.